Imprisoned As I Lay Dying Frontman Admits to Faking Christianity for Sales

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Tim Lambesis, frontman for the Christian metal band As I Lay Dying, has admitted he and his band had faked their faith to sell records.

In May, Lambesis was sentenced to six years in jail after pleading guilty to paying a San Diego police officer posing as a hit man $1,000 to kill his wife.

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Speaking to Alternative Press in the days leading up to his sentencing, Lambesis described a Christian band circuit where phony faith was prevalent. He said, "We toured with more 'Christian bands' who actually aren’t Christians than bands that are. In 12 years of touring with As I Lay Dying, I would say maybe one in 10 Christian bands we toured with were actually Christian bands."

Lambesis continued, speaking of his own band's beliefs, "I actually wasn’t the first guy in As I Lay Dying to stop being a Christian. In fact, I think I was the third. The two who remained kind of stopped talking about it, and then I’m pretty sure they dropped it, too. We talked about whether to keep taking money from the 'Christian market.' We had this bizarrely 'noble' thing, like, 'Well, we’re not passing along any bad ideas. We’re just singing about real life stuff. Those kids need to hear about real life, because they live in a bubble.' "

Lambesis, 33, said he has been an atheist for years and had distanced himself from Christianity while in college. He said, "In the process of trying to defend my faith, I started thinking the other point of view was the stronger one.

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"I remember one Christian festival where an interviewer wanted one of the guys to share his testimony, and he just froze up and let one of the guys who was still a Christian at the time answer the question," Lambesis said. "We laughed about it afterward, but we were only laughing because it was so awkward. When kids would want to pray with us after shows, I’d be like, 'Um, go ahead and pray!' I would just let them pray. I’d say 'Amen.' If praying while I have my hand on their shoulder makes them feel better, I didn’t want to take that away from them. When they would specifically ask me to pray for something, I’d say, 'I don’t really like to pray out loud, but I’ll take that with me to the bus.' ”

This story originally appeared on Billboard.com

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